Monday, June 12, 2006

Tom Vek

Tom Vek - We Have Sound – 2006
4 & ½ stars out of 5

The new-alternative-indie-pop-rock-dance hipster

Tom Vek is another one of those indie pioneers. Literally recording in his parents garage on a reel to reel and also a four track to make simple demos to hand out to people. Luckily he knew some people that knew some people and his demo got the hook ups. As said, Tommy boy is a pioneer,

There is no way that I could not like Tom Vek, because I like all his buddies, such as LCD Soundsystem, Bloc Party, The Rapture, Moving Units, The Walkmen and The Presets, among pretty much every other awesome indie band I can think of.

We Have Sound is Vek’s debut of 2006. Tom Vek is awesome because of his song I Ain’t Sayin’ My Goodbyes, which is probably the best song of 2006. As well as C-C (You Set The Fire In Me). The fast disco beats with slashing guitars of Tom’s exasperating vocals.

Another great tune is the repetitive If You Want, with catchy lyrics like “If you want fire, then we better start smoking.” And “If you want war then we better start fighting.” Clever lyrics like that also put Tom to the top of the chain.

I highly suggest going out and buying this album. Or at least downloading I Aint Sayin My Goodbyes, cause that song is so good it makes your skin crawl. I am going to be expecting great things from Tom for a while now

The Legend Of Zelda

Not only for legendary geeks

I have been playing the Legend of Zelda games practically before I could walk. I was obsessed with the best of the bunch, Zelda – The Ocarina Of Time, all through grade school. But I still play it. I beat Ocarina probably in about 3rd or 4th grade, and I still play it. I have beaten the entire game in just one day before, I have skipped certain levels right to the end, manipulated levels and bosses and weapons. I even “mastered” the recently released Gamecube version of Zelda – Master Quest. You could pretty much say I am the best there ever was or will be at Zelda; I know the game inside and out. Because honestly, can you think of any games that are better?

Ok, when it comes to the N64 I’d say the best games are 007 Goldeneye and, of course, our main game, Zelda. The sequel, Majora’s Mask, wasn’t awesome but Ocarina of Time remains the game, of the gamer’s game. Zelda; pretty much the ultimate gamers experience.

You know it’s a good game when you have been playing it from 1st grade up until 10th, and not even getting sick of it. I have been staying up all night helping my friend go through his own cartridge. He has seen the game beat many a time before, but now he is trying to conquer is own quest. And he pretty much sucks but with the help from the master (me) he could be saved yet. He just beat the Spirit Temple and is trying to survive Ganondorf’s castle. He is a few stressful minutes from the ending of this masterpiece. Only with the help of the Triforce piece of Courage. Can Link (Our adventurer) conquer the evil Ganondorf and save our princess Zelda.

We have been playing from midnight until now, 3:39 a.m. just that much closer. If you have never played the Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time, go out to your local pawnshop, pick up an N64 for about 50 bucks, find Zelda on eBay or at a garage sale, and party it up with your Zelda. Just make sure no one gets drunk and pees on your 64. Enjoy, gamer geeks and professional something or others alike.

The Stills

The Stills – Without Feathers – 2006
4 stars out of 5
Download- Helicopters

In March of 2006 I had the pleasure of viewing a Stills show at the Shelter (the St. Andrews below St. Andrews/ Eminem’s rap battle home). I was really close (literally pushed against the “stage”) and I did get some good pictures. Unfortunately, as earlier stated, this Detroit show was in March. The Stills new album didn’t come out until May. The only new things I had even heard from the Stills since 2003’s incredibly awesome Logic Will Break Your Heart was one song (Killer Bees) from a 2005 EP, a song that the Stills didn’t even play. All and all it really was a great show, although, incredibly different from what I expected. The Stills added a fifth member to their crew, an organist. Which didn’t exactly match their neo-new-wave post-punk-revival synthesizers and heavy electric rock-pop catchy-as-fuck songs that really just sounded like a more marketable Echo & The Bunnymen or Joy Division of the 80s.

The show was great. Classic songs like Lola, with a little more 70s rock twist (substituting synthesizers with organs, which continued through the show). In my opinion they didn’t play enough old songs, and too much new stuff, which was technically unfair because their new album hadn’t even come out yet, so even if us fans wanted to get their new album to know what the hell they were playing, we couldn’t. All I knew was In The Beginning because that is their new single and the only downloadable, pre-release. The Stills also played Changes Are No Good, unfortunately no Animals and Insects, my favorite Stills tune but I think the awesome encore including Still In Love Song and Retour A Vega (The Stills French tune, at the show they brought at a statue of “their French maiden” and had her crowd surf through the audience) and the entertaining stage banter between the two lead singers.

Another song that really stood out to me when played live, even though I had never heard it before, was a song off the new album (which I would soon discover as my favorite song of the album). The lead-lead singer (the one who sang every song on Logic…) put up his hood to get the sweaty hair out of his eyes and drearily mumbled, “This is one o are nusongs we’re veryprowdaf, Helecptrs.” The Stills jammed, and I jammed, and the beat Helicopters was stuck in my head until the day I bought Without Feathers.

The new Stills album, at first, disappointed me, mostly ‘cause I was still pissed at them for not playing Animals and Insects and playing too much new stuff that I didn’t know at their show. But Without… grew on me. Songs like In The Beginning are a little loud and almost too much for me but others like Oh Shoplifter (another that I liked even at the show before I knew it) has a nice amount of organ and even some cowbell to bring me into the new album sound. My favorites of this album are Oh Shoplifter, Helicopters, She’s Walking Out, and my all time favorite of the album thus far, Halo The Harpoon.

After all The Stills continue to prove their worthiness on my iTunes, as at least one of their songs is blared through my speakers/headphones everyday. Even the new album is really great, maybe not as good as their debut, but still. Another review of this album I read mentioned Bowie, and I would use The Thin White Duke as an even larger analogy. If Logic Will Break Your Heart was Scary Monsters, then Without Feathers is definitely Ziggy Stardust. I guess you could say The Stills albums genres almost seem to be going backwards, if Logic… was the 80s then without… is the 70s. But one thing is for sure, anyway you look at it, The Stills themselves are moving forward.